INCHEON, Jan. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — The western port city of Incheon is setting out to launch a special project aimed at turning the city’s international business district of Songdo into a bilingual city where you can use both Korean and English.
The Incheon Free Economic Zone Authority (IFEZ) announced on Thursday that it made an advance legislation notice for the establishment of a project steering committee.
The committee will consist of 15 to 20 members and will act as an advisory body for the mayor of Incheon. It will be responsible for the designation of the bilingual city and the formulation of pilot operation plans.
Previously, the authority ordered its employees to write titles, subtitles and some contents of internal reports in English.
However, given that the basic concept of the bilingual city has not yet been established, the project could stir up controversy during the process of actual designation and operation.
Seoul and Gyeonggi Province attempted to carry out similar projects but eventually abandoned their plans.
More recently, Busan launched a similar project but faced opposition from Hangul (Korean alphabet) proponent groups.
“Efforts are needed to ensure better communication with foreigners,” said Lee Geon-beom, president of Hangul Cultural Solidarity.
“However, it could be too risky to force local people to be exposed to an English environment.”
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)